Hung jury in firefighter assault trial
September 28, 2012
After three days of deliberation, a San Luis Obispo County jury was unable to arrive at a unanimous agreement on whether or not a firefighter is guilty of felony assault and the judge declared a mistrial.
Eight jurors believed John Ryan Mason was innocent while four felt he was guilty of violently assaulting Jory Brigham in 2011 in a bathroom at Pappy McGregor’s. Brigham suffered 17 facial fractures while Mason was uninjured during the encounter.
Following the Thursday verdict, the well-dressed San Luis Obispo firefighter and his family members hurried from the courthouse without talking to reporters. Members of the jury said they had come to an agreement not to share information about deliberations with the press.
Mason’s attorney Chris Casciola pointed at several discrepancies between Brigham’s testimony and other witnesses as the primary reason the majority of the jurors were unable to come to a guilty verdict. While friends of Brigham said he had a flask of alcohol in his pocket, Brigham testified he did not.
“He (Brigham) lied time and time again,” Casciola said. “When asked if he had an attorney, if he touched him, if he had a flask. You start digging a hole and after a while you can’t get out of it.”
Deputy District Attorney Kristy Imel declined to comment on the trial or about possible plans to proceed again with prosecution.
Both sides are slated to return to San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy’s courtroom on Oct. 18 to discuss a deal or whether the charges will be dropped.